Kootenay National Park | Amazing Destination You Must Visit!

If you are looking for an eventful day out with an entire list of activities to check off Kootenay National Park is the way to go!

From sizzling hot springs to raging waterfalls, ancient fossils, and spectacular views, this park certainly has it all.

Emerald Boom lake and Boom Mountain in ,Kootenay National Park, Alberta, Canada

But wait, there’s more! Kootenay National Park is also home to some of Canada’s most spectacular hiking trails. If you’re looking for a multi-day adventure you can pack your tent and start rehearsing your campfire songs to show off to your friends, family, or the vast range of wildlife if you’re a lone ranger like myself.

Here Is A List Of Everything Kootenay National Park Has To Offer

So, are you ready to embark on the experience of a lifetime? Let’s dive into the wonders of Kootenay National Park. 

Where is Kootenay National Park

Kootenay National Park is situated in Southeastern British Columbia Canada. It is close to the Alberta border and is a neighbor to two of Canada’s other dynamic national parks- Yoho and Banff. 

Since the Kootenay Park was established as part of an agreement with the Canadian Government to build a highway in exchange for a piece of the land, it is home to the western Rockies which gives travelers access to one of Canada’s most famous heritage sites.

The Best Time To Visit

Are you a winter or summer person? Kootenay National Park is open throughout the year and there is never a “wrong” time to explore the park. However, the icy mountains certainly bring about some freezing temperatures during the winter. 

Past explorers have recommended waiting out the cold and planning your expeditions between June and September when the ice has melted and the temperature is more bearable for those of us who are prone to getting the shivers.

Despite the cold temperatures, Kootenay National Park turns into somewhat of a winter wonderland from December to March. So, if you are looking for a white Christmas on the park’s magical mountains, winter may be the best time to go!


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Places To Stay In Kootenay National Park

Heritage Landmark Log Cabin on a Green Alpine in Kootenay National Park Canadian Rockies

Are you a camper or a glamper? Thankfully, Kootenay National Park has something for everyone! They have a few breathtaking campsites, one of which is situated on a 3-day hiking trail.

However, if camping in Kootenay National Park isn’t luxurious enough for you, the park offers a variety of accommodation types from bungalows and cabins to state-of-the-art hotel suites. Let’s take a look at some of the best places to stay in Kootenay Park.

Kootenay Park Lodge

With rustic vibes and spectacular views, there’s certainly no need to worry about getting cabin fever in one of Kootenay Park Lodge’s cozy cabins. Having been established in 1923 by Pacific Canadian Railway, the historical architecture gives you a taste of Canadian heritage. 

Prices start at $121 per night which isn’t too bad considering that the cabins include amenities, views, and service with a smile.

It also offers convenient dining options and a variety of additional activities to add to the already long list that Kootenay Park has to offer. So, what are you waiting for? Book your cozy escape and indulge yourself in the wonders of Kootenay National Park!

Prestige Family Home in Radium Hot Springs

Bring your family for a splashing adventure with a view to behold at Prestige Family Home in Radium Hot Springs! Not only does this luxurious escape offer a breathtaking mountain view, but the hosts also guarantee a peaceful experience with no noisy neighbors to get in the way of your family’s zen.

To add to the thrill, Prestige Family Home is only a 12-minute walk away from Kootenay National Park’s iconic Radium Springs. So, when you’re not busy getting cozy in front of the fireplace, you can take a refreshing dip in nature’s warm pools. Holidays don’t get any better than this!

Mountain View Condo

This one is for all of the adventure junkies out there who are looking to break in their new skis and unwind in a modern, state-of-the-art condo with mountain views. Mount Royal Hotel offers a luxurious experience for anyone who is willing to brave the icy hills and embark on a skiing adventure.

This spectacular place’s prices start at $92 per night and offers a cozy fireplace and a balcony to let visitors take in the views while enjoying their privacy.

Camping

For those of you who want budget-friendly accommodation that brings you closer to nature, Kootenay National Park camping is the way to go! If you’re familiar with hiking in the Kootenays, you may already know that camping is a must on some of the park’s longer trails.

You can choose between the Redstreak, Mcleod Meadows or Marble Canyon camping grounds for affordable prices that range between $21-34 per night. Happy camping fellow adventurers!


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Fun Things To Do

Entrance of Kootenay National Park, Canadian Rockies on Highway 93

Park Entry: $10 per day for adults and $20 for families.

Kootenay National Park is a diverse tourist destination that offers a variety of adventure types for anyone to choose from. Whether you want to experience hiking or simply dip your toes in the hot springs, the list of things to do in the Kootenays is endless!

Hot Springs

Woman Relaxing in Hot springs in Kootenay National Park

Come take a dip in nature’s jacuzzi at Kootenay National Park’s Radium Hot Springs! This is an excellent activity for families and solo travelers who want to “unwind the mind” in Kootenay Park’s steamy waters, which are loaded with natural minerals, for a full body detox. 

If that’s not enough, the rocky mountain views are guaranteed to give you a balanced combination of enjoyment and serenity that we all need in our busy lives. You may even catch a glimpse of a few bighorn sheep if you’re lucky!

The Red Chairs

Kootenay Park’s Red Chairs

What is one thing that we all need after a tiring (but rewarding) hike? A chair and a view! Pack your picnic baskets and take a stroll to the Marble Canyon for a relaxing lunch with breathtaking scenery.

Kootenay Park’s Red Chairs are situated at various spots throughout the park, giving weary travelers their pick of the scenic litter to take in while recharging their batteries.

This is a great activity for families and lone rangers, but perhaps an even better idea for a romantic day out with that special someone. Kootenay National Park really has something for everyone!

The Numa Falls

Numa Falls at the Kootenay National Park

Take a hike to the Numa Falls and “fall” in love with nature all over again! This is an excellent expedition for adventure junkies who want to take in Kootenay National Park’s breathtaking ambiance without wearing themselves out too much. 

The walk to the Numa Falls is only 0.7 miles long and leads to a short bridge that gives you a striking view of the black rocks and crashing waters below. So, don’t water down your adventure! Be sure to add a casual stroll to the Numa Falls to your bucket list.

Fireweed Loop

Regrowth on the Stanley Glacier trail in Kootenay National Park in British Columbia

If you are looking for a memorable experience while hiking in the Kootenays the Fireweed Loop is bound to leave an imprint for years to come.

This dynamic hiking trail is on fire! Well, it was when lighting struck Vermilion Pass in 1968 and sparked a wildfire giving the Fireweed loop a unique imprint of nature. 

The trail leads you through a forested area and is home to a variety of small mammals that you may see scurrying along your path-just don’t trip!

It is also an excellent choice for upstarting hikers since the trail is only a mile long. So, let’s burn some calories while meandering through nature’s warzone! 

Wildlife Viewing

Wolf in Kootenay National Park

Kootenay National Park is popular for the diverse range of wildlife that inhabits its lush forests and rocky terrains. If you are taking a drive on the highway you may encounter some white-tailed deer grazing to the side.

You’ll need to schedule your time carefully since most wild animals steer clear of the highway at midday for obvious reasons.

If you stroll further into the park you may catch a glimpse of some mountain goats, black bears, or the odd lone wolf if you’re feeling lucky.

The Radium Springs are also a great place to spot some bighorn sheep while you’re lounging in the steamy waters. Just Be sure to steer clear of the grizzly bears!

Burgess Shale Fossils

Kootenay National Park has both a historical and an ancient lineage that adds a touch of culture to its natural beauty. One of the more ancient experiences that it has to offer is the Burgess Shale Fossils.

These fossils have been naturally preserved for over 8 million years making them more ancient than dinosaurs!

This is an excellent adventure for those who want to catch a glimpse of early life on earth and the evolution of a full ecosystem. The fossils are well-preserved and have earned their spot as a UNESCO Heritage site with good reason!

Fishing

Fishing rod folded on a wood for fishing in Kootenay River,Canada.

From scenery and history to hot springs and fishing expeditions, there are plenty of reasons to get “ hooked” to Kootenay National Park-especially for the fishermen out there!

It has plenty of options to choose from for your fishing expeditions including a short hike to Dog River or staying closer to comfort with the Kootenay or Vermillion rivers.

Some of the fish that you can reel in include whitefish and trout, but Kootenay Park is also an excellent spot for fly fishing. So, bring your rods and cancel your dinner plans. I mean, why buy dinner when you can catch it yourself?

The Rockwell Trail

Stanley glacier trail in Kootenay national park in British columbia, Canada.

If a one-day hike doesn’t cut it, why not try the Kootenay Park’s Rockwell Trail for a multi-day hiking experience? This is truly a phenomenal trail that takes you through forests and mountain landscapes with a multitude of waterfalls along the way.

Unless you’re a superhuman, you’ll most likely need a place to rejuvenate during your expedition. Thankfully, the Rockwell Trail leads you through colorful scenery, past a glassy creek, and straight to the Helmet Creek camping grounds.

This is where you will be able to unwind and prepare for another adrenaline-filled day.

The Rockwell Trail is a sight to behold and has no shortage of magnificent views. That probably explains why it is a top-rated trail that has made it to the top of many professional hiker’s bucket lists.

So, pack your tents and hiking boots for the adventure of a lifetime- if you think you’re fit enough!


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Places To Eat In Kootenay National Park.

Holidays and adventures tend to bring about some serious munchies! Thankfully, Kootenay National Park is surrounded by a variety of food options to silence those rumbling stomachs! So, let’s take a look at the 5 top-rated restaurants near Kootenay National Park.

Bourgogne snail or escargot stuffed with green butter, French food.

Helna’s Stube Restaurant

Helna’s Stube Restaurant is an excellent choice for weary travelers who are looking for a casual dining experience with a cultural twist. It is situated in Radium Hot Springs and offers a wide variety of Austrian cuisine to tantalize your taste buds.

The restaurant has received a whopping 4.5-star rating from over 400 satisfied customers who recommend their escargot dish quite highly.

Being one of the closest restaurants to Kootenay National Park, along with offering mouth-watering appetizers and desserts, pushed Helna’s Stube Restaurant straight to the top of our list. 

Important Note:  Avoid disappointment by making a reservation before arriving at the restaurant!

Big Horn Cafe

Feeling peckish? If you are looking for a lighter snack or a quick “meal on the go” I highly recommend making a pitstop at Big Horn Cafe. This “snack shack” offers everything from breakfasts and sandwiches to a wide range of muffins and pastries that earned them a 4.5-star rating.

Big Horn Cafe is less than 1 mile away from the Kootenay National Visitors Center which makes it a convenient place to stock up on treats for the day or to kickstart your day with a hearty breakfast!

Elevation Dining 

Attention all Kootenay Golfers! If you’re looking for mouthwatering meals, vibrant atmospheres, and some fine liquor to celebrate that hole-in-one, Elevation Dining at the Springs Golf Course is the way to go. 

They offer everything from breakfast and lunch to Italian buffets and live music which all come at reasonable prices. If that’s not enough, the live music and spectacular mountain views definitely make this one of the top 5 restaurants near Kootenay National Park!

Screamers

I scream, you scream, we all scream for a lovely place to cool down on a hot summer day! Screamers are located near the Radium Hot Springs and is an excellent place to take your family to for creamy ice cream after a tiring day in Kootenay National Park.

This is a great place to refuel for those who want to avoid pricey restaurants and complicated booking systems. They offer ice cream with waffle cones, a variety of subs, and jumbo hotdogs which is a great choice for families looking budget-friendly lunch.

Old Salzburg Restaurant

Old Salzburg Restaurant is an excellent choice for a healthy and hearty dining experience near Kootenay National Park. They offer a variety of German and Austrian dishes as well as vegetarian and gluten-free options! 

The restaurant is located less than 1 mile from the Kootenay National Park Visitors Center which makes it a convenient stop for hungry adventurers.

Apart from their friendly service and tantalizing meal options, they also don’t hold back on their food portions. Previous patrons have described the dishes as “huge” so get ready to eat your heart out!


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Places Nearby You Can Visit

Here are a couple of beautiful places you must visit nearby before you finish your trip!

Jasper National Park

Jasper National Park is one of the biggest national parks in Canada and offers a multitude of exciting activities for group travelers and solo travelers to enjoy!

Spirit Island in Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

In summer it is the perfect place to go paddling through the crystal clear lakes, whereas winter travelers can brave the icy slope for an adrenaline-pumping skiing expedition.

If you’re looking for more serenity and less thrill, you can pack your picnic baskets for lunch with a view or take a scenic drive through the park, but be sure to bring your cameras to take a snapshot of the wildlife that you might encounter!

Rogers Pass National Historic Site

Rogers Pass National Historic Site of Canada in Canadian Rocky mountains

We simply can’t get enough of Canada’s rich historical ambiance! Rogers Pass National Historic Site offers an awe-striking hiking trail that takes you through an abandoned Canadian Pacific Railway that was established in 1885. 

Stretching even further back in time are the giant cedars that give you a shady rest point where you can set up a picnic and rejuvenate your energy.

Those who want more excitement in their day can ski down the slippery slopes- just don’t forget your scarves and gloves!

Conclusion: 

You can’t go wrong with Kootenay National Park! Whether you are a solo traveler or bringing company, the mind-blowing scenery and vast range of wildlife that the park has to offer is bound to leave an imprint in your memory for life- like the Burgess Shale Fossils!

Don’t forget to take a dip and detox in the Radium Hot Springs or to test your stamina with some of Kootenay Park’s bucket list-worthy hiking trails. There is something for everyone to enjoy!

Do you like to weigh your options before deciding on a holiday destination? Take a look at some of our other breathtaking tourist spots from all around the world!